FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why choose or change the electricity seller?
The opening of the electricity market allows choosing for the first time, from whom and on what conditions to buy electricity. Via the portal of Energiaturg.ee you can make simple, quick and free-of-charge comparisons of the price packages of all sellers and choose the offer that suits you the best. In near future the energiaturg.ee portal will also allow signing electricity contracts right here in the portal.
How big could the price savings be when changing the electricity seller?
Price savings depend on many things. If there is intensive competition between electricity sellers and you as a customer are an active and demanding electricity buyer as well, then the electricity price will be formed according to fair market principles. The price can depend on consumption amounts, length of contract period, time of signing the contract, payment method, repeat customer status, etc. You should compare the different price packages with each other and with your current package from time to time, so you don’t miss out on best offers. Also, if your consumption habits change, for example if a child is born, a new washing machine is bought or electrical heating is installed, then you should compare the packages again in order to choose the most suitable one for your new situation.
What should I consider before changing the electricity seller?
Several important things should be considered when choosing the electricity seller, for example whether the termination of the contract entails a penalty payment, what the exact price savings are from changing the seller, what are the payment conditions and additional bonuses offered by the seller, how the seller’s customer service works and even how many complaints have been filed against the seller. You should also keep in mind that the procedure of changing the electricity seller may take up to 21 days and it will happen at the beginning of the month. This time can become even longer if the advance notification period for terminating the previous contract is long.
Who can change their electricity seller?
Choosing and changing of electricity sellers is available to those consumers who have a valid network contract with a network operator. Distributing and metering of electrical energy takes place under a network contract. If the consumption point has no valid network contract then the network provider does not provide its services there and the electricity seller cannot sell electricity there either. Contact your network operator to check whether you have a valid network contract or to sign a network contract. You can get more information about service regions of network operators from the website of the Competition Board.
What can be chosen?
Until now there was no need to differentiate between network service and sale of electricity because the providers of both services were fixed for the consumers. With the opening of the electricity market, this situation will change. Multiple electricity sellers will operate in the market and they will be competing with each other, so you will have the opportunity to choose for the first time, from whom to buy your electricity. But the network operator still cannot be chosen because the network service will still be provided by the company whose network is connected to the consumption point.
How often can I change the electricity seller?
You can change the electricity seller once per month. You will be able to sign a new contract at any time, but the actual change will happen at the change of the month. You should also keep in mind that the process of changing the electricity seller takes up to 21 days. So, if you wish your change of seller to take place as soon as the beginning of the next month, you will have to sign the new contract at least 21 days before the end of the month. The process of changing the seller may also become longer if the terminating of the contract with the previous electricity seller entails a longer advance notification period or additional obligations.
How to change the electricity seller?
The step-by-step procedure of changing the electricity seller is as follows:
- In order sign an electricity contract, you should make sure that you have a valid network contract with the local network operator. If you have a network contract, then you can also sign an electricity contract. If there is no valid network contract, then your first step should be contacting the network operator to find out how you can sign a network contract.
- In order to sell electricity, the electricity seller must have obtained an electricity sales permit from the Competition Board. The activity license for selling electricity can be applied for by a private limited company [osaühing] or a public limited company [aktsiaselts] having a share capital of at least 31,950 euros. The legislation also prescribes exceptions for that rule, but then the person selling electricity must be able to refer clearly to the specific provision of the Electricity Market Act allowing that person to sell electricity without a permit. You can get more information about activity licenses at the website of the Register of Economic Activities.
- The electricity seller may need to review your electricity consumption data in order to make an offer. The data are kept in a data warehouse and the electricity seller will need your consent to view your data. In case of home consumers, the consent has to be in written form. You can also ask your consumption data from your network operator.
- It is a good idea to compare several electricity offers, to find the one that suits you the best. It is certainly worth considering whether you wish to buy electricity for a fixed price or a dynamic price and whether you want to sign a contract for a definite or an indefinite duration. Also, always review the contract terms, especially those pertaining to termination of contract.
- There is no obligatory format prescribed for electricity contracts. Still, we recommend signing that contract in writing, so that the agreed conditions are clearly documented.
- If you sign the electricity contract via internet or telephone, then you will be able to withdraw from the contract within 14 days. For this you will need to submit the relevant application.
- After signing the new electricity contract, the change of electricity seller will take place. This can take up to 21 days. The actual change of seller will always take place at the change of the month. Thus, if you wish to buy your electricity from another seller starting from the next month, you will have to sign the new electricity contract at least 21 days before the end of the month. The change of electricity seller may become longer if the terminating of your previous electricity contract entails a longer advance notification period. It is worth checking this in your current contract before changing the seller.
- You will have to notify the previous seller about your change of sellers, or the new electricity seller will do it for you if authorised by you. As the new seller informs the data warehouse about signing the contract, the network operator will get to know about the change of sellers via the data warehouse and you will not have to notify the operator separately.
- The change of seller and the new electricity contract will become valid at the change of calendar month, at 00:00 o’clock.
- In special cases the electricity contract may enter into force at some other time. This is so if you don’t have a valid network contract and it has to be signed beforehand. The network contract will become valid on the day following the signing date, at 00:00 o’clock. The electricity contract will then become valid on the same day as the network contract.
- If you plan to change the seller, first check whether the termination of your current contract entails a contract penalty or an obligation of longer advance notice.
Can the current seller hinder my change of sellers?
Pursuant to the Electricity Market Act, all electricity contracts signed under the sales obligation shall automatically terminate on December 31st 2012. If you have not signed an electricity contract with another electricity seller by December 10th 2012 at the latest or with your current electricity seller by 31.12.2012 at the latest, then starting from January 1st 2013 your electricity seller will automatically be the network operator or a seller assigned by the network operator. Thus, your current seller cannot hinder your change of sellers in any way. With all future changes of electricity sellers it would be good to check in advance whether your electricity contract has any conditions that may hinder you from choosing another seller, for example a contract penalty, a long period of advance notice about termination of the contract, obligation to pay debts, etc.
Who has to send the consumption meter readings necessary for a change of sellers?
The network operator has the duty to measure the consumption of electricity. If your house has a remote-reading consumption meter, then the consumption readings will be sent automatically. If there is a consumption meter in the building, then the readings must be sent according to the network contract. In case of changing the electricity seller, the network operator will determine the reading, up to which the previous electricity seller will issue the last bill and from which the new seller will start its accounting. Electricity sellers will get the necessary consumption readings from the data warehouse.
Do I have to notify my current seller about the change?
According to the network code, the consumer shall inform the existing electricity seller about the change of seller and the electricity seller shall in turn notify the data warehouse. Still, the consumer and the new electricity seller may agree that the new electricity seller notifies the previous seller about the termination of contract. Care should be taken to review any advance notification period that may be required by the current contract. For example, if the previous seller has to be notified about the termination of contract 30 days in advance, then the change of seller may take longer than 21 days because the actual change of sellers can take place only at the change of calendar month. In such case it would be good to try to achieve an agreement with the current seller about applying a shorter advance notification period, so that the change of electricity seller could take place sooner.
Is the change of sellers chargeable?
Change of electricity seller is free-of-charge for you. Additional expenses related to change of electricity seller can come up if the contract signed with the existing electricity seller requires a contract penalty for premature termination of the contract. Also, all debts to the previous seller should be paid off when changing the seller.
What will happen if I don’t choose an electricity seller?
On January 1st 2013, all electricity contracts signed under the sales obligation will automatically terminate. If you haven’t chosen an electricity seller or haven’t signed a new electricity contract with your current seller by that time, then your network operator or the seller assigned by the network operator will sell electrical energy for you in the future. For small consumers – home consumers, apartment associations, apartment owners’ communities or business consumers – having a main circuit breaker of up to 63 A, the network operator or the seller assigned by the network operator will sell electrical energy at the general service price formed on the basis of the electricity exchange price. For the rest of the business consumers, the network operator or the seller assigned by the network operator will sell electrical energy as open supply at the energy balance price plus the amount of justified expenses. If you wish to change the electricity seller, then you have to sign the contract by December 10th 2012 at the latest, because the change of seller can take up to 21 days and it can only happen at the change of calendar month.
Can I refuse a change of electricity seller?
If you sign an electricity contract via internet or telephone, then you will be able to withdraw from the contract within 14 days. For this you will need to submit the relevant application. In that case the change of electricity seller will not happen and the electricity sale will continue on the previous conditions of if the previous electricity contract ends then you will buy your electricity from the network operator or a seller assigned by the network operator.
When can I change the electricity seller?
You can initiate the change at any time, but the actual change happens only at change of calendar month. You should also keep in mind that the process of changing the electricity seller takes up to 21 days and this process may also become longer if the terminating of the previous contract entails a longer advance notification period. So, if you wish your change of seller to take place as soon as the beginning of the next month, you will have to sign the new contract at least 21 days before the end of the month and achieve an agreement with the previous electricity seller about terminating the previous electricity contract.
How often can I change the electricity seller?
The electricity seller can be changed once per month. The change takes up to 21 days and happens at the change of calendar month. When changing the electricity seller, you should check whether the terminating of the existing contract entails a contract penalty payable to the previous seller or whether the contract states a longer advance notification period, as this may have an impact on whether the change of seller can take place at the change of the next month or a month after that.
What happens after the change of electricity seller?
After signing the contract with the new electricity seller, the change of electricity sellers is formalised and this can take up to 21 days or somewhat longer if the terminating of the previous contract entails a longer advance notification period. Change of electricity seller becomes valid at the change of calendar month.
What does the change of electricity seller really change?
It important to understand that the change of seller will not change anything in your consumption point, because the network operator will not change. Only the electricity seller selling you electricity and sending you bills will change.
Will the change of electricity seller bring about an interruption of power supply?
If you choose a new electricity seller, then the company selling you electricity will change at the beginning of the month. The network services will still be provided by the same network operator that did it until then. The change of electricity seller will not cause an interruption of the network service or a change of consumption meter.
What if the change of seller fails?
Change of electricity seller takes up to 21 days. This is long enough to iron out all possible hindrances. But if it really happens that the previous electricity contract ends but you are unable to sign an electricity contract with the new electricity seller and the change of seller fails, then you will definitely not be left without power supply. In that case the electricity will be sold by the network operator or a seller assigned by the network operator.
Why use the environment of energiaturg.ee?
Because this way you can choose the most favourable electricity package for you. Energiaturg.ee is an unbiased electricity portal which is independent from the electricity sellers. We just gather together all the necessary information about electricity sellers and their offered packages and make it simple and convenient for you to compare the prices and find an offer that suits you.
How does energiaturg.ee get the price information?
Energiaturg.ee constantly monitors the price packages of all electricity sellers. The electricity sellers being our cooperation partners inform our energy portal about all price changes themselves. We get the price information of the rest of the electricity sellers from several public sources, for example from their websites and other customer service channels.
What is the general service?
For small consumers it is better to buy electricity from the network operator whose network the building is connected to, at a reasonable and justified price respecting the principle of equal treatment. This way of selling electricity is called the general service. The network operator provides the general service itself or chooses another electricity seller to provide it. If a small consumer has not signed an electricity contract with any electricity seller, then the general service is provided to that consumer.
Who can buy electricity as the general service?
All small consumers can buy electricity as the general service – home consumers, apartment associations, apartment owners’ communities and business consumers having a main circuit breaker of up to 63 A.
What is the price of electricity sold as the general service?
The provider of the general service (the network operator or a seller assigned by the network operator) calculates the price on the basis of the weighted average of the hourly prices published at the electricity exchange and the hourly electricity quantities sold throughout the month. That price is supplemented by justified expenses related to providing the service, and a reasonable profit margin. The provider of the general service publishes the price and its calculation at its website by the 9th day of the next month. If you don’t want to buy electricity as the general service, you can always choose another price package that suits you.
What if a business consumer does not chose an electricity seller?
If a business consumer whose main circuit breaker exceeds 63 amps does not choose an electricity seller for itself, then its electricity seller will be the network operator or a seller assigned by the network operator. That type of selling electricity is called open supply. The price for open supply is the balance energy price plus the amount of justified expenses. You can view the balance energy prices at the website of Elering. Balance energy price is usually higher than the electricity price offered by electricity sellers.
Who can sell electricity?
In Estonia, electricity can be sold by enterprises who have obtained an electricity sales permit from the Competition Board. You can see whether an enterprise has an activity license by visiting the website of the Register of Economic Activities. The legislation also prescribes exceptions to that rule, so that a person can sell electricity without an activity license. For example, apartment ownerships can sell electricity to their members and house owners can sell it to their tenants without obtaining an activity license.
What is the data warehouse?
The data warehouse is a data exchange platform: a digital environment for data exchange in the electricity market, intended for changing electricity sellers. The data warehouse stores the consumption data of the consumers. The data warehouse is administrated by Elering AS. http://andmeladu.elering.ee/consumer/home
What is the EIC code?
The EIC code is a unique code given to every market participant and measuring point. The EIC code is mainly important for ensuring that the data exchanged between market participants moves from right person to right person and about right consumption points. Ask for more information about the EIC code from your network operator.
Who is a home consumer?
A home consumer is a physical person who uses electricity in their household (apartment, summer cottage etc.) for personal needs.
Who is a business consumer?
A business consumer uses electricity in their economic activities, for instance a private limited company using electricity in their office or a production enterprise using electricity in their factory. Both a business enterprise and a self-employed person can be a business consumer, and for self-employed persons the factor distinguishing them from home consumers is how they use the electricity: in their household or for economic or professional activities.
Who is a small consumer?
The term ‘small consumer’ was introduced in the Electricity Market Act this summer and defines those to whom the right to purchase electricity as a general service is guaranteed. Small consumers are all home consumers and some business consumers: apartment associations, communities of apartment owners and smaller businesses that have their electrical installation connected to the network at low voltage via a main fuse of no higher than 63 amperes.